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Harrow e-learning platform for AISL Academy

Custom Learning Management System based on Open edX® technology


The Customer

Harrow – one of the world’s top international private school networks, originated in Britain. It unites thousands of teachers and learners in different regions including China, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand.

Their successful schools in Hong Kong, Beijing, Chongqing, Haiku, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities are highly regarded and all offer exceptional education to prepare students for a life of learning, leadership, service, and personal fulfillment.

Harrow Innovation Leadership Academy provides life-changing bilingual education that integrates the best of the East and West.

The importance of quality online education takes the leading role. So, Harrow chose Raccoon Gang to build a custom LMS for its staff and students.

"We chose Raccoon Gang as one of the best vendors for custom learning management system development, and we were right!"
Open edX was their strategic choice as an emerging and prominent LMS technology, and Raccoon Gang has been chosen as the best provider in the world.


The Customer needed a unique e-learning platform for advanced training for teachers of Harrow International Schools in Asia.
The platform must be intuitive for users from Asian web segment.
The platform is supposed to be in line with the high prestige and leading reputation of the school. It is envisioned to have a distinctively premium appearance and to have top-notch features.
The platform needs to be super scalable and ready to expand to tens of thousands of users.
Raccoon Gang Approach to the Problem
Focus 1 – UX/UI Design
Combining 450 years of history and future-looking design elements with a requirement to provide intuitive learning scenarios.
Focus 2 – Growth through Competition
Learners should see their results and the results of others to drive motivation.
Focus 3 – Constant Engagement
The platform is envisioned to be consistently engaging. Ability to deliver pleasure from achieving goals was set as a high priority.


Classy design

The customer was looking for a special “classy design”. Usually in such cases, we provide a multi-iterative approach with several examples. To achieve the best design solution, our team provided four redesigns.

Seamless integration

We needed to integrate 10 separate legacy platforms of different schools from different regions.

Scaling CI/CD in China

We needed to implement scalable CI/CD practices while navigating the unique regulatory landscape of China.

Non-Standard Cloud Environments

The team faced the challenge of working with non-standard cloud platforms like Tencent Cloud. This required adapting our strategies and solutions to align with these environments' specific technologies and capabilities.


We crafted a custom Learning Management System based on the Open edX technology. The custom LMS is highly scalable, it provides > 98% uptime, and perfectly matches with Harrow's vision and goals.


We clarified expectations and gave options to choose from at each stage. Platform looks completely custom.
1. We've developed 5 main page design concepts to define the style and "design DNA" of the platform.
2. After choosing the most appropriate design for the main page, over 80+ interfaces have been designed.
3. According to the Client's feedback, we've modified the interfaces where needed. During this process, the Client's vision has changed significantly and we adapted the design accordingly.
4. With the final picture in view, the Client decided to to change the "gold-dominant" color scheme to "blue-dominant" which was implemented and the final design approved.
Stage 1
Main Page Concept
Stage 2
Full Theme Design
Stage 3
Change Iterations
Stage 4
Design Finalization
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4

Custom features development and setup:

We developed the Adaptive Learning Path feature. It is designed to help learners navigate in the learning environment.
LEARNING PATH (Programs & Categories & Recommendations)

Learning paths have been implemented using the “Open edX Programs” standard feature.

The “Programs” have been customized with categorization abilities.

Personalized course recommendation feature has also been developed for the platform.

Learners can browse recently launched courses and see what’s new in their favorite subjects.


Learners can plan their progress step by step – tracking their progress in the courses included in their chosen programs.

Developed dashboards motivate to complete programs by earning a certificate for each course.

Learning achievements are recorded in the Program Record. It can be used to analyze the learning journey, continue it and demonstrate learning to others.

We set up Trainer and Learner Profiles. Users can track the Trainer’s Rating and monitor their own Career Progression.

Users see the trainer of the course on the course description page with:

  • Instructor’s photo and short bio
  • Ranking of the instructors
  • A link to the full profile

Full profile also shows:

  • Full bio
  • Comments section reviews from the learners
  • The list of courses of this instructor

RG developed an extended profile, adding additional fields for users’ info:

  • Title
  • Company
  • Length of Employment

Program certificates on the user’s profile page are also displayed to help track career progress.

We created a ranking system that ensures a high level of course feedback.

Added functionality that allows ranking courses.

Users can:

  • leave their own reviews of the courses
  • evaluate courses from 1 to 5
  • like or dislike each other’s reviews.
All in one place. Our team integrated useful tools with the LMS (Tencent, MS Teams, Power BI)

Because YouTube is blocked in China, Tencent cloud hosting is widely used instead.

An appropriate feature has been developed to conveniently and easily embed mp4 videos.

Tencent’s integration with the LMS, allows uploading videos to cloud hosting and use its links in video xblocks.


Instructors can create and schedule MS Teams meetings in a particular course unit. We added a special button in the Unit editor (for simple meeting scheduling).

Students can join the meeting with link directly in a course unit.

All functionality is available in the LMS in two clicks.


We integrate the LMS with Power BI, using a standard RG set of dashboards.

Power Bi combines data from many sources to create interactive, immersive dashboards and reports that provide actionable insights and drive business results.

All data from the LMS are instantly transmitted and aggregated.

We added actionable and real-time reports to the LMS with our RG Analytics module. This tool helps the course instructor to gather statistics in the particular course with relation to the students and their progress.
A high level of constant engagement, competition, and motivation is supported by the RG Gamification module.
E-Commerce Payment Systems. For the global audience, we implemented Stripe as a secure and trusted payment gateway. For the Chinese audience, we integrated popular local payment methods like Alipay and Hang Seng to cater to their preferred payment methods.
Marketing Portal. We developed a custom Marketing Portal integrated with the customer's Open edX LMS: - the admin panel allows easy control over the LMS homepage and course page appearances; - the integrated blog functionality lets publish articles and share news.
Customized Mobile App. We provided the customer with a customized version of the default Open edX mobile application. The customization ensured a user experience that aligned with the customer's branding and the functionalities they required.
The e-learning platform works with multinational cloud servers. It is successfully integrated into the Asian digital ecosystem with its specific characteristics: firewalls, etc.

Our team provides staff training, annual support, and maintenance

Phase 1 Documentation
  • Software Requirements Specification
  • Design mockups
Phase 2 Platform installation
  • Open edX Platform installation (v. Koa, with branding)
  • Tencent’s integration (For Video x-block)
  • Single Sign-On
  • Includes integration with 4 identity providers of Harrow school
  • RG Analytics module
  • RG Gamification module
  • Custom Theme development (in cooperation with Harrow)
  • Learning Path (Programs)
  • Video Conferencing tool integration (MS Teams)
Phase 3 Customizations
  • PowerBI integration / Dashboards development
  • Course Record/Choices (Skills Matrix)
  • Learner Profile – Length of Employment, Career Progression
  • Trainer Profile
  • Course/Trainer Rating System + Comments Section
  • Any Additional Development / Stabilization
  • Staff training
Phase 4 Support
  • Annual Support and Maintenance
  • Japanese theme
  • Singapore installation
  • Annual Support and Maintenance (Singapore)


Raccoon Gang completed this project in 7 months and continues to capture Asian markets.
The Customer got a platform with great UX/UI and features on time, powerfully entering the market and is significantly ahead of competitors.
Due to the single professional development platform, Harrow delivers training programs across all their organizations – providing advanced training for the entire teaching staff in Asia. The LMS leads to increased productivity, performance, and profitability in all their schools in the region.
The LMS attracts not only teachers, it can be expanded. The platform is planned to be supplemented – with news and announcements of trainings and events.
90% positive feedback from users.
Future enhancements include commercialization and a mobile app.
Raccoon Gang is ready to implement an equally cool project for you. We have helped develop hundreds of unique e-learning projects. Do you want to put your educational idea into practice? Just contact us!
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